2002 was the sixth season for the Canada GT Challenge Cup series. Sanctioned by ASN Canada, the championship draws a wide array of high powered Grand Touring cars and the attention of fans.

Helping the series attract competitors is a prize fund that was reduced for 2002. Last season, the winner of each contest received a cheque for $6,000; this year, first place was awarded $3,000. The runner-up earns $2,000 and third-place collects $1,000. All other finishers receive $500. The end of season championship fund is $10,000 as opposed to $30,000 in 2001. Second place in the title chase earns $7,500 and third-place in the final standings is worth $5,000.

Vehicles eligible to compete in the series include FIA GT, Professional Sportscar GTS & GT, Sports Car Club of America Improved Touring, GT1, GT2 & Trans Am, plus ASA Stock Cars. Sports Racers, ground effect cars and Showroom Stock vehicles are not permitted to compete in the Canada GT Challenge Cup series.

All races are one-hour in length and require a mandatory one-minute pit-stop. For teams that use two drivers, one-minute is sufficient time to make the change. Competitors driving solo can remain in the car during the stop. Re-fueling is not allowed.

The events are contested during CASC Ontario Region weekends or in conjunction with major events at Mosport International Raceway. The Canada GT Challenge Cup season kicks off on April 28 at Mosport International Raceway during the BARC Grand Prix of Ontario. This is followed by two more events at Mosport – the BEMC Spring Trophy Races and the Victoria Day Trans-Am Weekend. Round four is the series’ first of three visits to Shannonville Motorsport Park. On June 16, the championship returns to Mosport for the CASCAR Weekend. The next two events are held at Shannonville. On August 18th, the championship competes at Mosport as a support race for the American Le Mans Series. The final round will be conducted at Mosport during the CASC Celebration event at the end of September.

Round one of the 2002 Canada GT Challenge Cup was scheduled for April 28 at Mosport International Raceway. Unfortunately, snow on Sunday forced the British Automobile Racing Club officials to cancel the event. The season would open on May 12 at the British Empire Motor Club Spring Trophy Races. Teams would compete in a sixty-minute contest around the ten-turn 2.459-mile road course.

The start of the first race for the 2002 Canada GT Challenge Cup season. Pulling away from the field is the pole-sitter, Klaus Bytzek, in the No. 00 BMS Race Team Porsche 911 GT1 EVO. Trailing Bytzek is the No. 3 Chevrolet Camaro of Larry Barcza, who qualified fourth fastest. Behind Barcza are the Porsche of James Harrison and Greg Clifton driving a Chevrolet Camaro. A total of eleven competitors started the event.
The conditions were a lot better on Saturday when the Canada GT Challenge Cup teams practiced and qualified. To no one’s surprise, the reigning series champion, Klaus Bytzek, put the BMS Race Team prepared No. 00 Porsche 911 GT1 EVO on the pole. Race day was a complete contrast and drivers had to deal with heavy rain. It seemed to have minimal impact on Bytzek as he led flag-to-flag.
Malcolm Strachan competed in the final Canada GT Challenge Cup event last year and finished thirteenth behind the wheel of Reiner Griese’s Corvette. In qualifying for the first race of 2002, he was third fastest. During the wet contest, the driver of the No. 22 Konica Canada sponsored Chevrolet Corvette delivered a solid performance, which was rewarded with a runner-up result.
For 2002, CASC Ontario Regional racer, Ron Beyeler, replaced his Chevrolet Camaro with a GT1 tube-frame Oldsmobile Cutlass. Beyeler failed to record a time during the qualifying session and started at the rear of the grid on Sunday. He avoided any drama during the contest and kept the Oldsmobile on the track under challenging conditions. At the conclusion of the sixty-minute event, Beyeler was in third-place.
The No. 79 ex Jason Plato BTCC Renault Laguna was driven by former open-wheel racer Ken McRae. The four-cylinder 2.0-liter engine was no match for the larger displacement cars – until it rained. Last year during round nine, the wet conditions allowed McRae to move from thirty-first to a fourth-place finish. In the first race of 2002, he qualified ninth, but an off-course excursion in corner one damage the car – he finished fourth.
A couple of local Trans Am competitors, Jerry Simmons and Charlie Webster, entered the Canada GT Challenge Cup event in preparation for next weekend’s Trans Am race at Mosport. Simmons weekend came to an early end when he crashed the No. 76 Westward Tools Ford Mustang in the first practice session. Webster and his Chevrolet Corvette qualified second fastest but decided not to start the wet contest.

11Klaus BytzekPorsche 911 GT1 Evo / BMS Race Team27-
23Malcolm StrachanChevrolet Corvette / Konica Canada26-
3-Ron BeyelerOldsmobile Cutlass / Real Time Products25-
47Greg CliftonChevrolet Camaro / Strudwick Motorsport25-
59Ken McRaeRenault Laguna / Polywheels24-
65Jim HarrisonPorsche 911 Turbo / Longhill Energy24-
78Joel ReiserPorsche 911 GT3 Cup / Reiser-Callas23-
8-Jay FiegerChevrolet Corvette / Marathon Graphics21-
94Larry BarczaChevrolet Camaro19-
1010Allan DeWolfeBMW 325i / Eurotec8Did Not Finish
116Ulrich FurtmairPorsche 911 Turbo / Furtmair Auto1Did Not Finish
-2Charlie WebsterChevrolet Corvette / C.J. Webster-Did Not Start
--Jerry SimmonsFord Mustang / Westward Tools-Did Not Start

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